This morning Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was disappointed when her Liberal colleagues in the Ontario Legislature failed to pass Bill 23, the Islamic Heritage Month Act 2016.
“This was an opportunity for us, as representatives of the people of Ontario, to come together to take action on the rising prevalence of Islamophobia and hate-motivated crime in our Province,” noted Horwath. “Celebrating Islamic culture, history and the contributions of people of Islamic heritage to our society is an important step that we need to take. Learning about each other and celebrating our diversity is a meaningful and effective way to combat hatred.”
London-Fanshaw MPP Teresa Armstrong, who introduced the Bill earlier this week, added that the NDP will not give up the fight to establish October as Islamic Heritage Month.
“I am very dedicated to seeing this Bill become law and I know Andrea is too,” said Armstrong. “We will do whatever it takes to see October become Islamic Heritage Month in Ontario.”
The Ontario NDP has been working diligently to find ways to address racism, from calling for an end to arbitrary, race-based police street checks (carding), to pushing the Liberal government to finally establish the Anti-Racism Directorate.
“This is about building a better future for all of our children,” continued Horwath. “We have to make sure that every member of the Muslim community, and every Ontarian, feels safe and secure here in our Province. That’s the only way Ontario can reach its potential. All Ontarians should be able to learn about and celebrate the tremendous contributions that Ontarians of Islamic Heritage have made throughout our province’s history – and the tremendous contributions that thecommunity is making to build a better future for all of us.”